‘An opportune moment’: 123 Franklin Tech grads told their skills are in demand 

By BELLA LEVAVI

Staff Writer

Published: 06-02-2023 8:24 PM

GREENFIELD — One hundred and twenty-three Franklin County Technical School graduates celebrated a milestone in their mastery of the trades on Friday, accepting their high school diplomas.

Moved because of rain, the commencement ceremony was held on the lawn of Greenfield Community College, but this didn’t put a damper on the pride of the graduates’ families.

Superintendent Richard Martin and keynote speaker Regina Robinson, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, spoke about the good and bad of the Class of 2023’s timing. Robinson referenced ways in which the class persevered — chiefly, continuing their education in different ways following the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in their freshman year.

“It wasn’t easy to be a student in the midst of COVID,” she said.

Valedictorian Mattie-Lee Newcomb reflected on going through school during the pandemic. She said sophomore year, for many students, meant sitting on Zoom with their cameras off. Productivity, she said, picked up as the students became upperclassmen and returned to in-person learning.

Robinson said that persistence through difficult experiences, such as studying at the technical school through the public health crisis, will take the graduates far in life.

While it was clear the graduates went through high school at a difficult time, Martin focused his remarks on how it is a great time to enter the workforce coming from a technical school.

“You graduated at the right time,” Martin said. “We have an opportune moment in our history as it relates to skilled labor in employment opportunities.”

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A majority of industries have vacancies that cannot be filled due to a lack of skilled labor in the workforce, he said. Traditional schools across the country are now noticing the value of a vocational-technical education and trying to incorporate those curriculums into their classrooms.

“Imitation is the best form of flattery,” Martin said.

Martin concluded his speech by telling the graduates they are now ready to take the next step in their lives with a purpose, thanks to the work of the staff and teachers at Franklin Tech. Though technical schools were once considered a place for students with no options, he said, “now there are more options than ever before.”

Graduates

Roy Adams Jr., Orange; Colin Adams, Orange; Aiden Aldrich, Northfield; Eric Aldrich, Orange; Lincoln Allis, Conway; Silas Anderholm, Orange; Jayson Andrews, Greenfield; Rylee Ares, Orange; Noah Ausikaitis, Montague; Camden Bashaw, Orange; Oliver Blackbird, Orange; Isabelle Botelho, Deerfield; Cooper Bourbeau, Deerfield; Calla Bourdeau, Greenfield; Charles Boyden, Northfield; Kendra Campbell, Montague; Craig Carey, Orange; Cameron Carrington, Orange; Ethan Chase, Shelburne; Jason Conley, Greenfield; Patrick Connell, Whately; Nicholas Cooledge, Orange; Elizandra Cote, Montague; Alexander Crosby, Erving; Jillian Crowningshield, Rowe; Ryan Demers, Montague; Austin Dietz, Montague; Ethan Donovan, Sunderland; Cameron Fifield, Whately; Konner Fortin-Cummings, Shelburne; Skylier Frasher, Orange; Nathaniel Fuess, Northfield; Dillon Gagnon, Northfield; Dylan Gardner, Montague; Sadge Gowey, Orange; Hailey Graves, Orange; Timothy Gray, Bernardston; Natalia Guzman, Greenfield; Emma Haarmann, Montague; Muhammad Haider, Orange; Richard Hall, Montague; Thomas Hall, Montague; Jayden Hamlett, Orange; Donald Hathaway, Greenfield; Derek Helms, Montague; Holly Hicks, Shelburne; Brennan Hodgeman, Sunderland; Cody Houghton-Miles, Colrain; Matthew Houghton-Miles, Colrain; Aydyn Hurlburt, Montague; Ethyn Hurlburt, Montague; James Jarvis, Erving; Henry Jones, Colrain; Dominick Kelley, Orange; Ikenna Ketcham, Montague; Devin Kipp, Orange; Alysia Knapp, Greenfield; Samuel Knight, Deerfield; Grace Korpiewski, Montague; Maria LaBelle, Erving; Thomas LaBombard, Montague; Gabriella Larned, Rowe; Cayden Lehtomaki, Montague; Madalyn Lilly, Buckland; Joshua Lynde, Halifax Vermont; Kaleb Lynde, Montague; Hannah Mackie, Buckland; Kaine Maratea, Montague; Matthew Marchefka, Gill; Kamrynn Mason-Emond, Greenfield; Sean Matakanski, Greenfield; Elizabeth Matthews, Warwick; Adam Maynard, Greenfield; Gabriel McCassie, Erving; Alastair McClure, Greenfield; Cailin McClure, Greenfield; Alexander McKay, Montague; Christopher Miller, Colrain; Michael Miller, Greenfield; Nathan Monfette, Conway; Robert Murphy, Gill; Rikku Nascembeni, Shelburne; Mattie-Lee Newcomb, Montague; Valliree Noel, Orange; Soriya Noeun, Greenfield; Bradley Normandin, Orange; Mackenzee Norwood, Colrain; Samantha Peila, Gill; Thomas Pekarski, Whately; Christopher Phelps, New Salem; Austin Pike, Montague; Lillian Poirier, Montague; Sabrina Raymond, Montague; Vincent Renaud, Montague; Mekah Reynolds, Whately; Kitana Rodriguez, Erving; Amanda Romanovicz, Conway; Tanner Rowe, Northfield; Mitchell Ryan, Greenfield; Ty Sadoski, Whately; Joslynn Sanford, Montague; Shea Savage, Orange; Scott Senn, Greenfield; Bianca Serrell, Wendell; Abigail Shaw, Bernardston; Jeremiah Sheperd, Greenfield; Tyler Sidilau, Orange; Alex Sinigur, Greenfield; Faith Smith, Montague; Landon Smith, Montague; Alea Stevens, Montague; Keira Stevens, Montague; Cecelia Sujdak, Orange; Alex Sulda, Montague; Daen Tarr, Greenfield; Christopher Taylor, Deerfield; Madison Taylor, Greenfield; Alyse Tower, Northfield; Carl Warchol, Whately; Noah Welch-Smith, Greenfield; Joseph White, Erving; Brody Williams, Northfield; and Jocelyn Wyman, Montague.

Awards and scholarships

Aiden Aldrich, Customer Service & Professionalism Award in Cosmetology, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Lincoln Allis, Collision Repair North Amherst Motors Award, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship, Light Up the Night Scholarship; Silas Anderholm, Excellence in Physical Education Award; Jayson Andrews, Significant Growth in Carpentry; Camden Bashaw, Excellence in Plumbing & Heating — Sponsored by Franklin County Plumbing Supply; Oliver Blackbird, Excellence in Physical Education Award; Isabelle Botelho, National Honor Society Leadership Award, Most Improved in Cosmetology, Most Improved in Spanish, Personal and Social Growth Award, Little Drummer Craft Fair Scholarship; Charles Boyden, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Kendra Campbell, Student Achievement Award, Landscaping & Horticulture Proficiency Award — Sponsored by Atlantic Golf & Turf, Turners Falls, Friends of Liberty History Award, FCTTA Academic Scholarship, Stafford Trust Academic Scholarship; Craig Carey, Auto Technology Snap-On Tools Award for High Achieving Student; Ethan Chase, English & Language Arts Award of Merit; Jason Conley, Auto Technology Accurate Automotive Award for Most Improved Student; Patrick Connell, Collision Repair Shop Safety Award, Harbor Freight Paint Award; Nicholas Cooledge, Electrical Business Managers Attention to Detail Award, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship, Donald & Doris Felton Memorial Scholarship; Elizandra Cote, Animal Science Growth and Progress Award; Jillian Crowningshield, Excellence in Physical Education Award, Excellence in Plumbing & Heating — Sponsored by FW Webb Co. and Franklin County Master Plumbers Association; Ryan Demers, Perseverance in Math, English Most Improved Award; Austin Dietz, Most Improved in Culinary Arts; Cameron Fifield, Proficiency Award in Electrical Trade, Donald & Doris Felton Memorial Scholarship; Nathaniel Fuess, Administrative Recognition Award, Most Outstanding Electrical Apprentice, Excellence in Science, Excellence in Math, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship, Connor Strong Memorial Scholarship; Dylan Gardner, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Hailey Graves, Most Improved in Advanced Manufacturing, Friends of Liberty History Award; Tim Gray, Welding & Metal Fabrication Airgas East Award; Sadge Gowey, Personal and Social Growth Award, Art Club Booster Award; Natalia Guzman, Perseverance in Science; Muhammad Mustafa Hadar, Academic and Vocational Excellence Award, Donald & Doris Felton Memorial Scholarship, Cool Rides Scholarship; Richard Hall, Achievement Award (Most Improved in a Shop Program), Culinary Arts Shop Safety Award, Biff Morey Memorial Scholarship; Thomas Hall, Advanced Manufacturing Achievement Award, Suhl Scholarship; Jayden Hamlett, Auto Technology Genden Auto Parts Award for High Achievement; Derek Helms, Advanced Manufacturing Quality Award; Holly Hicks, Collision Repair Sanel NAPA Auto Parts Award; Brennan Hodgeman, NSDC Award for Academic Growth & Student Leadership in Learning, MAVA Outstanding Student of the Year, Excellence in Programming and Web Development, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship, Neal Graves Memorial Scholarship; Matthew Houghton-Miles, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Aydyn Hurlburt, Award for Excellence in Welding & Metal Fabrication, Excellence in Physical Education Award; Ethyn Hurlburt, Excellence in Culinary Arts, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; James Jarvis, Most Improved in Carpentry, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Henry Jones, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Dominick Kelley, Best Effort in Programming & Web; Devin Kipp, Most Improved in Programming & Web; Alysia Knapp, Outstanding Student Achievement Award for Positive Attitude, FCTS General Scholarship; Shea Savage, Award for Greatest Improvement in Welding & Metal Fabrication; Samuel Knight, FCTS Accomplishment Award, Auto Technology Accurate Automotive Award for Excellence, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship, Harry T. Kuenzel Memorial Scholarship; Grace Korpiewski, Excellence in Career & College Awareness, Animal Science Consistent Effort & Performance Award, Most Improved in Math, Most Valuable Senior Artist, Little Drummer Craft Fair Scholarship; Maria LaBelle, Perseverance in Math; Thomas Labombard, Excellence in Programming and Web Development, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship, FCCTA Vocational Scholarship; Gabriella Larned, Math Award of Merit, Collision Repair Doug’s Autobody Award, Donald & Doris Felton Memorial Scholarship; Madalyn Lilly, Glora May Bitzer Memorial Scholarship; Joshua Lynde, Most Improved in Academics; Kaine Maratea, Most Improved in Math; Matthew Marchefka, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Kamrynn Mason-Emond, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Sean Matakanski, Excellence in Culinary Arts, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Elizabeth Matthews, Excellence in Journalism/Yearbook, Carpentry Teachers Award, James F. Edes, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, Warwick Community Scholarship; Alastair McClure, FCTS Award in Trade, Skill and Service, Carpentry Teachers Award, Purington Scholarship; Cailin McClure, Most Artistic and Creative in Cosmetology Award, SkillsUSA Participation Award in Hair; Alexander McKay, Advanced Manufacturing Shop Safety Award; Nathan Monfette, Outstanding Effort Award, Advanced Manufacturing Quality Award, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Robert Murphy, Outstanding Attendance, Carpentry Lou Kozloski Memorial Award Sponsored by Cowls Building Supply, R&R Window Scholarship; Rikku Nascembeni, Excellence in Animation Award; Mattie-Lee Newcomb, MSAA Student Achievement Award, Massachusetts CTE Presidential Certificate of Merit, Student Council Leadership Award, Excellence in Veterinary & Animal Science Award, Excellence in Math, Excellence in History & Social Studies, English Achievement Award, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship, Class of 2007 Scholarship; Valliree Noel, Advanced Manufacturing Performance Award, Outstanding Attendance; Soriya Noeun, WNE University Book Award, SkillsUSA Recognition Award, Construction Safety & Growth in the Field of Carpentry, Neal Graves Memorial Scholarship, Little Drummer Craft Fair Scholarship; Bradley Normandin, Carpentry Lou Kozloski Memorial Award Sponsored by Cowls Building Supply, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Mackenzee Norwood, Consistent Effort and Performance in Health Technology; Samantha Peila, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Austin Pike, Perseverance in Math, Excellence in Career & College Awareness, Most Improved in Carpentry, FCTS General Scholarship; Lillian Poirier, Animal Science Perseverance Award, English Achievement Award, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Vincent Renaud, Excellence in Electrical Trade; Mekah Reynolds, Excellence in Reading Award, Culinary Arts Hospitality Award, Math Award of Merit; Kitana Rodriguez, NSDC Award for Academic Growth & Student Leadership in Learning, Superintendent’s Award, Character Counts Award, Peer Support/Mentoring Award, Health Technology Work Ethic & Perseverance, Excellence in History & Social Studies, English Perseverance Award, Excellence in Spanish, SkillsUSA Outstanding Vocational Student, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship, Gilmond Lamore Scholarship; Amanda Romanovicz, FCTS Intern Award; Tanner Rowe, Outstanding Vocational Program Award, Welding & Metal Fabrication Mayhew Steel/Deerfield Packaging Award; Mitchell Ryan, Excellence in Plumbing & Heating — Sponsored by FW Webb Co. and Franklin County Master Plumbers Association, Excellence in Plumbing & Heating — Sponsored by Franklin County Plumbing Supply, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Joslynn Sanford, Most Improved in Career & College Awareness, Cosmetology Achievement Award, Perseverance in History & Social Studies; Bianca Serrell, Excellence in Science, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Abigail Shaw, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Tyler Sidilau, Perseverance in Carpentry, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Landon Smith, Auto Technology Instructors Award for Shop Safety; Keira Stevens, Health Technology Health Care Achievement Award, FCTS Intern Award, Nancy Gifford Memorial Scholarship, Women of the Moose Scholarship; Cecelia Sujdak, Cosmetology Team Player Award, SkillsUSA Participation Award in Esthetics; Christopher Taylor, PHCC Plumbing All Star Award; Daen Tarr, Outstanding Attendance, Advanced Manufacturing Shop Safety Award, Perseverance in History & Social Studies; Madison Taylor, SkillsUSA Participation Award in Nails; Alyse Tower, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Carl Warchol, Excellence in Plumbing & Heating — Sponsored by Franklin County Plumbing Supply, Excellence in Physical Education Award, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; Noah Welch-Smith, Most Improved in Landscaping & Horticulture — Sponsored by Greenfield Farmers Supply, George Eldridge Memorial Scholarship, Owen Clarke Foundation Scholarship; Brody Williams, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship; and Jocelyn Wyman, School to Career Recognition Award, Collision Repair Instructors Award, John & Abigail Adams Scholarship, Stafford Trust Vocational Scholarship.

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